Caregiving 101: Seeking help from formal resources

Caregiving 101: Seeking help from formal resources

Caregiving family members often ask questions about when to reach out for help, and who to turn to. When caring for someone with dementia, family caregivers may feel overwhelmed, exhausted and alone. Bill Cohen, a Certified Senior Advisor, has been there. He helped his mom, Sheila, live with Alzheimer’s more than 10 years.

Bill now guides family caregivers through the Alzheimer’s journey from beginning to end. He advises family caregivers to seek help from formal resources as early as possible. He says, “It’s better to be proactive in caring and planning rather than reactive in an emergency. If you are thinking it might be time for in-home care or moving into a care facility, it probably is time to at least start the planning process.”

The AARP lists a few things that may point to a need for more help:

Is the immediate physical environment safe for the person you’re caring for?

Can your friend or relative maintain normal activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, toilet use, walking or other method of mobility?

If there is perceived memory loss, is it simple forgetfulness or perhaps a form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease?

Nonprofit organizations, like Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran’s Services (503) 846-3060, the Alzheimer’s Association (800) 733-0402, and senior centers like the Elsie Stuhr Center (503) 629-6342 are excellent places to start when looking for resources. AARP recommends finding a geriatric social worker that can do an in-home assessment and make recommendations on next steps.

Navigating the elder care system isn’t easy. If the thought of seeking formal services feels daunting, you don’t have to do it alone. Organizations like Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants, LLC can help. Bill provides assessment; planning and coordination of a family caregiver’s support team. Reach Bill at 503-522-8320, or visit him online at cohencaregivingsupport.com.

To find out more about United Homecare’s commitment to excellence, please visit: homecarepartner.org or call 503-433-8079.